Electronics

The core of SEAR consists of on-board electronics for power distribution and computer processing. The power system makes use of a 24 V 20 Ah LiFePO 4 battery block and DC/DC-converters for generating the 12 V and 5 V bus voltages. A set of eight motors for locomotion are connected to the battery. A manipulator on top of the rover is used to grab, store and mount objects. Due to the short development timeline, the hardware concept is kept relatively simple. Most of the components are plugged and merged to a central processing unit. The main sensors are three Kinect cameras for 3D vision. One is mounted onto the manipulator, one at the front of the chassis and one at the back. An intertial measurement unit (IMU) is used supplementary for several purposes in location, navigation and manipulation tasks. Data from the wheel motion controllers is additionally used for odometry. For connecting small devices like infrared range sensors for measuring distance to closely located objects or servos for storing mechanisms, a supplementary microcontroller board is being used. Simple commands can be sent to the board by the main central processing unit. Several electronics components can easily be attached to the board if necessary during late phases of development.

Block diagram coming soon…